HIST 3136 6.0 Roman Spain: Archaeology and History
with Professor Alejandro Garcia Sinner
For weekly schedule, fees and other detailed information, download Professor Sinner's presentation (pdf)!
Brief Course Description
The course examines the historical value of archaeological evidence by applying archaeological theory and method to the excavation of a late-Iberian/early-Roman site in Spain: Cabrera de Mar (Barcelona). A combination of formal instruction at York and hands-on excavation at the site provides a detailed understanding of archaeological techniques and the critical use of archaeological data in addressing key historical questions.
The course examines the historical value of archaeological evidence by focusing on the application of archaeological theory and method to the excavation of a late-Iberian/early-Roman site in north-east Spain: Cabrera de Mar (Barcelona). The course begins with eight three-hour lecture/discussion classes over two weeks at York examining the historical context of late-Iberian/early-Roman Spain in the second and first centuries BC and exploring critically contemporary archaeological theories, methods and practices. Four weeks (48 hours minimum) are then devoted to the application of this archaeological theory and method to the excavation of the site of Cabrera de Mar (30 km east of Barcelona) together with guided study visits to four nearby sites (Empúries/Ampurias, Tarragona, Barcelona, Badalona). Themes explored include: the process of excavation (tools and techniques, plans and sections); soil and stratigraphy (applying the “Harris matrix” and stratigraphic units); recognition and analysis of material finds (pottery, coins, remains of building structures); the interpretation and synthesis of archaeological data; the value of archaeological evidence for historical analysis of the shifting social, economic, cultural and political conditions at the site in its broader Iberian and Mediterranean contexts. Through hands-on experiential learning, students gain a wide-ranging understanding of archaeological fieldwork techniques and the manner in which archaeologists obtain and interpret their data. The course enhances students' ability to understand archaeological reports, a basic tool for any historian or anthropologist, and to develop their critical skills in determining the quality and reliability of published archaeological reports on sites of any chronological or geographical context.